Waymo Logs 4 Million Miles in Self-Driving Cars


And billions of miles in simulation

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Formerly known as Google’s self-driving car project, Waymo has been working on autonomous vehicle technology since 2009. Now, its self-driving cars have logged more than 4 million miles on public roads.

Over the course of eight years, Waymo has tested its cars in 23 U.S. cities throughout the western coast of the U.S. and Texas. It took Waymo 18 months to complete its first million miles, but just six months for the last million. Recently, Waymo has been testing Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans equipped with its self-driving technology. These vehicles have even been trained to respond to emergency vehicles.

Logging miles on the road means gaining crucial data that can make autonomous cars safer. In that vein, the company uses its experience on the road as inspiration for other types of tests. Waymo has run through more than 20,000 unique driving scenarios at its 91-acre private test facility, including skateboarders lying on their boards or vehicles aggressively darting out of driveways. More than 2.5 billion miles have been driven on simulators within the last year, often practicing routes that Waymo’s cars have driven in the real world.

Earlier this month, Waymo began unleashing autonomous cars without a human driver behind the wheel as a backup. These vehicles are currently operating in the Phoenix metropolitan region in fully autonomous mode. Over the next few months, the public will be able to take rides in these vehicles. Eventually, the company wants to see the program expand to cover an area “the size of Greater London.”

Source: Waymo

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